PURPOSE

This report describes progress with the Australian Newspaper Plan (ANPlan) in 2012/13. The achievements of ANPlan are evaluated against a set of Key Indicators and the goals set out in ANPlan’s Five Year Plan, July 2010 - June 2015 (Appendix A). 

BACKGROUND

ANPlan is a collaboration established by NSLA through which the Australian national, state and territory libraries are comprehensively collecting, preserving and providing access to Australian newspapers. The National Library of Australia (NLA) coordinates the Plan. The National Library of New Zealand (NLNZ) has observer status.

This year a new Key Indicator (Key Indicator 3) which measures the number of digital newspapers which libraries are collecting and managing for permanent access has been added to the set of Key Indicators developed and agreed by ANPlan libraries in June 2009 which have been reported on over the past five years. In 2012/13, ANPlan’s Five Year Plan (2010-2015) was also revised to include a goal relating to the collection of Australian digital newspapers, an updated list of ‘at risk’ newspapers, and a goal relating to digitising newspapers for preservation purposes and preserving digitised and digital newspapers.

Significant achievements for 2012/13 include:

  • eleven significant newspaper finds (Key Indicator 1);
  • activity in the area of collecting digital newspapers and managing them for permanent access (Key Indicator 3; Five Year Plan);
  • significant newspaper microfilming activity (Key Indicator 4; Five Year Plan) with the percentages of national titles filmed now reported as 100% and the completion of filming the significant ‘at risk’ newspaper the Evening Journal (Adelaide; 1869-1912);
  • a substantial increase in the number of digitised newspapers being made accessible on Trove (Key Indicator 5; Five Year Plan), and no increase in the number of newspapers known to be digitised outside the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP) framework;
  • a substantial quantity of first generation newspaper microfilm on acetate was replaced this year with polyester film (1,202 reels; Key Indicator 6);
  • a significant improvement (from 70% to 100%) in the percentage of NSW newspaper microfilm catalogued according to the 2006 guidelines (Key Indicators 11 & 12, Five Year Plan);
  • ANPlan librares have made a significant contribution to raising awareness of and providing information about Digitised newspapers on Trove. A range of publicity and information materials has been developed and distributed through print, electronic and social media. ANPlan libraries have also supported and provided advice to local organisations to contribute newspaper content to Trove. The NLA appointed a Contributor Liaison Officer within ANPlan to provide support to contributors who, numbering 43 in 2012/13, sponsored the digitisation of 209 contributed titles (Five Year Plan);
  • ANPlan libraries have continued to raise public awareness of libraries’ role in collecting, preserving and providing access to newspapers through tours and education sessions (Five Year Plan).

Although eleven significant newspaper finds were reported in 2012/13, this has had little impact on the number of missing newspapers reported by ANPlan libraries, which is largely determined by ANPlan libraries’ ability to identify missing newspapers. In 2012/13, the State Library of Victoria (SLV) started an evaluation of Victorian newspapers to check for any additional titles that are missing or have significant gaps. Both the number of newspapers reported as commencing (20) and ceasing (42) are high compared with last year (eight and four, respectively). Activity in collecting digital newspapers and managing them for permanent access was reported by several of the ANPlan libraries. In total, nineteen digital newspapers for which there is no print-equivalent and pre-press versions of Australian print newspapers are currently being collected and preserved by three ANPlan libraries.

Over 2012/13, newspapers from all states and territories have continued to be microfilmed, with all national newspapers now microfilmed. The majority of titles are known to be microfilmed to current standards. Progress over 2012/13 with preserving ‘at risk’ titles has included the completion of the filming of the Evening Journal (Adelaide, 1869-1912) and the commencement of filming the Journal (Adelaide; 1912-1923). Over 2012/13, 1, 202 first generation newspaper microfilm reels on acetate were replaced with polyester film. The SLV conducted an audit of its acetate masters.

The number of digitised newspapers which are being made accessible through Trove (for at least some of their date range) has grown rapidly, reaching 473 at the end of June 2013. Many of these newspapers have been sponsored by libraries, historical societies and other community groups, with the State Library of New South Wales (SLNSW), through its Digital Excellence Program, being the major contributor of digitised newspapers. The number of newspapers digitised outside the Australian Newspaper Digitisation Program framework has now decreased to forty-eight due to two titles which have become available on Trove.

As reported last year, ANPlan libraries are generally able to store the hard copy newspapers which they hold primary responsibility for under ANPlan under environmental conditions which they consider to be optimal with only two libraries reporting that they are unable to store 100% of their newspapers ideally. All ANPlan libraries are able to store all of their first generation newspaper microfilm masters under environmental conditions which they consider to be optimal to preserve permanent access with seven of the eight reporting ANPlan libraries making use of the NLA’s cold store. Reported storage conditions do vary, however, both for print newspapers and microfilm masters. Although most microfilm masters for newspaper titles are owned by ANPlan libraries, those which are not are still not being consistently recorded on the National Bibliographic Database (NBD).

As reported last year, most Australian newspapers (hard copy) are accessible through the NBD and most libraries report that catalogue records for newspapers published in their state/territory include detailed and up-to-date holdings information.[1] Five ANPlan libraries confirm that 100% of their first generation newspaper microfilm masters are catalogued according to the guidelines which were developed in consultation with all ANPlan libraries in 2006.[2] For the SLNSW, this represents an increase from 70% reported last year to 100% this year. The same five libraries report that they are able to catalogue all generations of newspaper microfilm onto the NBD according to the current guidelines. The NLA reports that all completed digitised newspapers available on Trove are catalogued onto the NBD, according to the current guidelines.[3] Digitised newspapers which are not delivered through Trove remain largely uncatalogued on the NBD.

With presentations, the provision of advice and assistance, and traditional and social media, ANPlan libraries continue to engage with public libraries and the general public about digitised newspapers on Trove and contributing newspapers to Trove, the search for missing newspapers and the libraries’ role in collecting, preserving and providing access to newspapers.

[1] While it is not possible to list all individual issue gaps on Libraries Australia, detailed holdings means that any significant gaps are recorded as well as accurate start and end dates. If holdings change, then holdings on the NBD are amended to reflect this.

[3]Guidelines for cataloguing remote access electronic resources,  http://www.nla.gov.au/librariesaustralia/training-support/manuals-guides/e-resources-guide/